Aging gracefully

Leaders in middle-ring suburbs grapple with current challenges, while looking to the future

Calgary is a city that is continuing to grow and expand, with new suburbs and surrounding areas showing marked growth this year, yielding new infrastructure and amenities for residents. However, while Calgary’s newer communities expand, older communities are experiencing unique challenges.

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Post-secondary appeal

Residents of Calgary’s dynamic campus communities benefit from youthful energy and added amenities

Bob Benson fondly recalls many a Bermuda Shorts Day – the University of Calgary’s annual end-of-academic-year celebration – at the Benson home in the northwest community of Varsity.

“We’d host a Bermuda Shorts Day breakfast with ham and pancakes. Kids would congregate at our place at 8:30 a.m. or 9 a.m. and then head over to the university,” said Benson, adding he and his wife moved to Varsity in 1988 with the hope that the community’s proximity to the university would make it easier for his four children to attend. Apparently, it worked – three of Benson’s children studied there.

Varsity is one of several Calgary communities that borders a post-secondary institution. That proximity comes with all the pros, and the occasional con, of living near a large body of students.

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The art of social

Facebook, Twitter and Instagram helping real estate businesses build their brands

When Sarah Johnston began using social media, she didn’t do it to promote her real estate business.

“My entire life is dedicated to this ‘job,’ and I needed an outlet,” she said.

Instead, Johnston took a relaxed approach, using Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to share about her life and interests — including her real estate adventures — and just be herself.

But she quickly discovered the power of the medium as she began amassing followers and having conversations online. Johnston connected easily with her target market (young professionals) on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as well as other real estate professionals on LinkedIn.

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Here we go again

Comparing Calgary’s current downturn to history

Calgary’s infamous boom-bust economy is at it once again.

Just as it did in the 1980s and late-2000s, economic conditions have once again turned sour.

But does this downturn feel different from those that came before?

Yes, says CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie.

In CREB®’s 2016 Economic Outlook & Regional Housing Market Forecast, Lurie notes that while some have tried to compare this year to the early 1980s – in terms of its perfect storm of low oil prices and high unemployment – the underlying conditions are, in fact, much different.

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